West Virginia is seeing a serious nursing shortfall throughout the state. “I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years,” said Vice President of Patient Care Services at Princeton Community Hospital, Rose Morgan.
Morgan said she started out as a registered nurse more than three decades ago and in all those years she has never a nurse shortage like this. “We see this firsthand, we’ve had some difficulty recruiting nurses with the baby boomers retiring from the hospital,” Morgan.
On top of that, hospitals are seeing younger people stray away from nursing as a profession all together. “Part of that is due to the lack of sufficient numbers of of instructors and economic reasons,” said Morgan.
In response Bluefield State College is trying to reverse the trend and put more nurses to work locally. The college has expanded their program which has allowed them to take more applicants. “We are able to start students in an RN programs,” said Dean of Nursing at Bluefield State College, Angela Lambert.
Morgan believes the issue can’t just be solved at the secondary level. “We do go out to the high schools and middles schools to get people interested in nursing for the long-term,” said Morgan.
This is an immediate issue, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor, the need for nurses is expected to increase 16 percent by 2024 across the nation. That’s 9 percent more than all other jobs.